Happy times, happy times. Ever since I announced my engagement to PayPal, it seems everything in my life has come to revolve around it. Everything online, that is. After recently hosting a media event for them and getting a chance to meet some of their merchants, it occurred to me just how many people are on the platform – and why shouldnt they be? It’s great! Being a consumer myself of course I know little about the business side of things, but purely from a consumer’s POV I can tell you that using PayPal is such a fuss free experience that I find myself frequenting shops that offer PayPal as a payment gateway more than not because of their buyer protection scheme (basically insurance) (if your item comes and looks different from what you ordered/ is damaged, PayPal will refund you, and pay the return shipping fee for up to USD15!) and the fact that I am a lazy ass who doesn’t want to keep typing in her credit card details over and over again…
Ok, well. Not the point of the post. I’ll do a detailed how-to guide on PayPal in the future, but for now I actually wanted to put together a list of my favourite online shops because lemme tell you, the number ONE question I get emails on all the time is WHERE DO I BUY ALL MY SHIZZ? Seriously guys. More than anything else – more than people asking what books to read or what academic route to go down. Don’t you guys wanna read?! (Speaking of which, Books Actually also accepts PayPal .) Anyway. The list. Yes.
Disclaimer: Before you start shopping with PayPal, make sure you get the most of your dollar by figuring out the rebate system on your credit or debit cards. For example, my PayPal account is always linked to my Frank by OCBC card because of their 6% online shopping rebate. I checked, and as long as the PayPal merchant’s own code qualifies as an online shop, you still get the rebate even though the transaction is done through PayPal. So be sure to prime everything first to maximise both your dollar (rebates!) and your shopping time (convenient checkouts!) before you start your online shopping!
PS. All the shops featured here are PayPal merchants as well, so set up your PayPal account if you know what’s what asap!
One of my absolute favourite online stores is Her Velvet Vase, which I wear all the time. Partly because I know and like the owners, Clare and Mag, and I want to support them, and partly because I really like their stuff. HVV is one of those brands that I feel has consistently evolved over the past few years to keep up with trends without losing the essence of the brand’s personal style: classic, feminine, and clean.
Most importantly, the brand is very wearable. It’s not hard to pair up or down their pieces because they’re very easy to match on a daily basis, but they also stand alone well. I’d say HVV sells very upgraded basics. And because they cater both to the Singapore and USA market (they have a store in NYC too!), they do have clothes that match different seasons. Some of my favourite coats are from this brand!
Another local label that I find delivers consistently high quality pieces, albeit at a higher price point, is Klarra. I have a few Klarra pieces in my wardrobe that I find myself wearing over and over again, and the ones that I’ve worn for over two years still stay current in terms of trends. I often find myself reaching for the Klarra statement pieces when I have to host more formal events, and I think it’s a brand that suits most young working women looking to create a solid wardrobe of staples when entering the workforce.
In fact, I recently represented Laneige to shoot the backstage of a fashion show they did – and Klarra was the main sponsor for the clothing label. Basically they paired make up looks with current fashion trends and organised a runway show around it. I think it was pretty successful! But then again, I’m a huge fan of Laneige myself, so I look upon most of what they do with puppy-eyed adoration. (Speaking of which! Laneige is available to purchase on Lazada – and guess what? Also a PayPal merchant. Ha.)
Laneige via Lazada is available for online shop, and so is Sephora – which recently launched it’s singapore online shop where you can top up your make up stash from the comfort of your home.
But what about more international merchants? Something that had all of us really excited of late was the launch of instagram-famous make up brand Colourpop’s Worldwide Shipping – which includes all the way over here, to Singapore! Shipping starts at USD15 to Singapore, which is a bit steep – but if you share it with a few friends it evens out. Plus where else can you get six dollar lipsticks and five dollar eyeliner?!
I’ve bought from Colourpop twice, both times when I was in the States, and I’ve been generally pleased with the products I’ve gotten from them, so them launching worldwide shipping is very welcome news to me!! I personally think they smell a bit funny, but you really cant beat that price point and quality. And with that kind of five to seven dollar price range per item, you have the freedom to experiment by getting more colors or styles if you’re on a budget. My favourite items from them are their Lunch Money highlighter, which I use also as an eyeshadow, and their purple Piggy Bank creme gel liner.
I’ve also started using their Ultra Matte liquid lipsticks (my favourite is the More Better shade), which give really good color payoff for a lasting period of time – favoring it over their classic Lippie Stix range, which has a very clean and precise application for defined lips, but which I also find is a little drying.
I feel like I got into the accessories game a little late, but what a huge difference it makes even to the simplest of outfits! I do have my favourite stores for both local and international when it comes to upping one’s accessories and / or timepiece game, and here they are:
International: Wanderlust + Co
Wanderlust + Co is quickly becoming a cult street jewellery label – having been worn by the likes of Kendall Jenner herself! They have a ton of gorgeous rings and bangles, but their most iconic series (to me) is their laser cut word bangles. So iconic and what a statement piece. People are always coming up to me asking where they can get them! Well: now you know – Wanderlust + Co. You can keep up with their instagram community around the world by tracking the #WCOgirlgang hashtag, which i find to be quite helpful for accessory-newbies who wanna learn how to style their new accessories.
Local: The Ordinary Co
The Ordinary Co is a local online jewellery store that sells minimal and clean accessories at a very affordable price point. Think below ten bucks for a necklace or ring, to fifteen for a multipack of several. It’s a great place to build one’s arm candy collection starting right from the basics, and it’s great that their products are so stackable as well – easily matched both with other types of jewellery and each other! They also frequently feature local girls in their monthly lookbooks, affectionately dubbed “The Ordinary Girl”. I was an Ordinary Girl once too..
International + Local: Just Tangy
Multilabel store Just Tangy sells accessories, shoes, timepieces.. but my favourite thing from them is by far their Olivia Burton watch range. I actually wrote a whole post about it before, because I’ve never seen such exquisite and unusual watches in my life! Everytime I wear one out I get a compliment (mild) or someone grabbing my wrist and asking WHERE I GOT THIS (extreme). This life. Now you know. But yes, curatorial multi-label stores tend to bring in really gorgeous and unique pieces in on consignment, and because they’ve already gone through one level of curation, most of what you get to select from instore tends to be of a rather high quality already!
ShopBando is a brand I absolutely love and cannot get enough of! It’s an LA based lifestyle brand that sells everything from hair accessories to planners to passport cases to balloons… like I said, lifestyle.
I first came across the brand through instagram, and I thought they had a really great vibe so I checked them out online, crossing my fingers hoping they’d ship to Singapore. They did! But alas! The flat rate shipping to Singapore is $32.15, which is mad expensive. So I shipped my stuff to a friend living in the US instead, who brought them back for me when she came to visit.
I’ve bought stuff from Bando thrice already, all online, and mostly on my visits to the US where I can ship directly to a new york address. I do find that US brands are very likely to take Paypal as a mode of payment, which is really reassuring because, you know, 1. familiarity and 2. PayPal buyer protection. The same goes for Bando. As a result, I have their iPhone cable, their 2015 planner, their passport case and keychains.. this is really a brand that I’m absolutely obsessed with. Thankfully in the continental US, shipping isn’t as expensive – they frequently have flat rate $5 shipping offers, so this might be one of those brands you might wanna hold of on first if you’re planning a trip to the US anytime soon. Or if, you know. You have friends there. But if you’re desperate for it, then you can consider splitting the cost of the shipping with friends and getting your entire clique some really freakin cute stuff to start the school term with.
Alright guys, that’s it. A list of some of my absolute favorite online stores – and a very convenient way to link people who ask me in the future WHERE I SHOP. There! Ta! Now you know! All of the above, as mentioned before, can be purchased via PayPal – and if you didn’t get where I was going with this, keep up: I’ll be penning a guide on how to use PayPal soon enough, and you’ll be wanting to stay tuned. Why? Because PayPal is New Money, and New Money brings you places. Like to shopping sites where you’ll get lost for hours in a wonderland of new and dazzling things. Ah, consumerism. Tis the age we live in!